North Korea Sentences Detained Journalists To 12 Years Hard Labor

After a closed trial, North Korea’s highest court today convicted two detained Current TV journalists, Euna Lee and Laura Ling, of “committing hostilities against the Korean nation and illegal entry,” The New York Times reported.

Following their conviction, Lee and Ling were sentenced to 12 years of hard labor, although there is already talk that North Korea might attempt to trade their release for money or a diplomatic visit.

The two women were detained by North Korean officials on March 17 along the border of China while doing research on defectors for Current TV. Since their arrest, the U.S. government has asked for their release, but North Korea is either turning a deaf ear to the U.S.’s pleas, or our government is not trying very hard to get them released. Maybe now the thought that these American citizens will be subjected to over a decade of torturous “hard labor” will spur diplomats into action.

We hope for a speedy release for Euna and Laura, but we can’t help but think that — if they do get out — they’re going to have a horrifying, intense and fascinating story to tell. We can’t wait to hear their side of this terrifying story.